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Mutation in TMEM98 in a large white kindred with autosomal dominant nanophthalmos linked to 17p12-q12.

Awadalla M.S., Burdon K.P., Souzeau E., Landers J., Hewitt A.W., Sharma S., Craig J.E.


Nanophthalmos is a congenital disorder characterized by small eyes, with the main complications being severe hyperopia and angle-closure glaucoma.


To perform a clinical and genetic investigation of a large white family with autosomal dominant nanophthalmos.

Design, setting, and participants

Detailed clinical evaluation and a genome-wide linkage scan was conducted in the family NNO-SA1. Linkage was evaluated with a 10K single-nucleotide polymorphism array, followed by whole exome sequencing, to identify novel segregating coding variants within the linked region. The candidate gene was screened for mutations in additional independent families by direct sequencing of the coding exons and intron/exon boundaries. The expression pattern of the candidate gene in ocular tissues was analyzed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Participants were recruited through ophthalmology clinics at Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. Nanophthalmos was defined as an axial length less than 20.0 mm and/or refractive error greater than +7.00. Of the 35 available individuals from family NNO-SA1, 16 participants (46%) had a diagnosis of nanophthalmos, with mean refraction of +11.8 D and mean axial length of 17.6 mm. Unaffected unrelated individuals serving as controls were screened for the identified mutation. Additional independent families with clinically diagnosed nanophthalmos were also recruited.

Main outcomes and measures

Nanophthalmos status.


Significant linkage was detected on chromosome 17 between single-nucleotide polymorphism markers rs2323659 and rs967293, with a maximum location score of 4.1. Exome sequencing identified a single novel segregating missense variant within the linkage region located in exon 8 of the transmembrane-98 (TMEM98) gene c.577G>C (p.Ala193Pro), which was absent in the Exome Variant Server database and among 285 local white individuals serving as controls. The TMEM98 gene was expressed in all ocular tissues tested including sclera and optic nerve head.

Conclusions and relevance

A novel gene associated with nanophthalmos, TMEM98 most likely represents the cause of the disease in this family. To our knowledge, this represents the first gene identified causing autosomal dominant nanophthalmos.

JAMA Ophthalmol. 132:970-977(2014) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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